Once known as Hartley18
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanked 65 Times in 65 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Re: Slow Racing or Fast Cruising?
I am about to start "racing" my own boat. But I'm going to be perfectly content in the "Aloha Class"-style divisions. We'll have plenty of water, plenty of great food, plenty of nice drinks, and every comfort we can think of short of a strap-on jacuzzi. We'll take it all "seriously" and do our best to win our division, but my primary goal is having a great time and enjoying the trip...win or lose. I'll just expect us to be safe, and improve our performance with each attempt.
Low bar? Maybe. But it's still racing to me.
The bottom line is, racing is just about the best possible way to improve your sailing skills. And it's a great deal of fun. It doesn't have to be done to the extreme most cruisers point to when denigrating racing. Just like cruising doesn't have to be done in a full-keel 2KSB with an acre of solar panels like most racers point to when denigrating cruising. There's definitely middle ground.
Smack, I think you'll discover racing can be addictive.
I've known many people (including myself once) who have started out with the mindset of "I'm only doing this to improve my sailing skills.." and, after a season or three of coming second (or third or fourth), have found themselves:
- Replacing sheets and halyards ("the old ones were a bit embarrasing... and I'm doing this to improve my sailing skills")
- Getting new sails ("the old ones were a bit baggy.... and I'm doing this to improve my sailing skills")
- Replacing cleats and winches ("just couldn't sheet on fast enough in the tacks.... and this will help improve my sailing skills")
- Setting a new, larger, different, masthead spinnaker ("if I can go a bit quicker on the downwind legs... I'll improve my sailing skills")
- Tuning the rig ("I'm not pointing as well on one tack... and this will improve my sailing skills")
- Trading up to a quicker boat ("This boat is a bit slow for me, so if I get a new Archambault like the guys at the bar sail, I'll win more trophies... and that will improve my sailing skills")
IMO, the line between "fast cruising" and "slow racing" is razor sharp and, as should be obvious looking at my avatar, it's one I'm familiar with and like to balance on - but I can only do that after spending time on both sides and not liking either overly much - for all the reasons you mentioned.
Have fun out there!
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
Last edited by Classic30; 08-13-2013 at 08:05 PM.